UFC lightweight contender Justin Gaethje explained why the chances of him ever fighting Conor McGregor are now “zero percent.”
There was a time last year where a fight between Gaethje and McGregor seemed like it was destined to happen, especially after Gaethje beat Tony Ferguson to become the new interim lightweight champ and McGregor finished Donald Cerrone. However, the UFC went a different route as Gaethje took on Khabib Nurmagomedov and lost, while McGregor fought Dustin Poirier and lost. A fight that once seemed inevitable between two of the best lightweights in the world now seems like it is farther from being made than ever before.
Speaking to ESPN‘s Brett Okamoto, Gaethje explained that a year ago, his goal was to beat Nurmagomedov and become the undisputed UFC lightweight champion. He admits that there was a possibility of fighting McGregor at one point but he was chasing after the belt instead. With Gaethje now having lost the interim belt and with McGregor having lost two straight fights to Poirier, “The Highlight” believes the ship has sailed on fighting McGregor.
“I’m sure it’ll go down in history as I had an opportunity to fight him in between Tony (Ferguson) and Khabib, but I don’t know if I did. I never got an offer. I never got any kind of official offer,” Gaethje said (h/t MMANews).
“In my mind, the ultimate goal was to beat Khabib and then Conor. And that was tenfold, and that was worth the risk. So that was what I chose. But that could’ve been a possibility then maybe, but I’d say the chances (of fighting McGregor now) are 0%…because I don’t think he’ll fight if once or twice, and it won’t be guys like me. It’ll be guys like Nate Diaz, Jorge Masvidal—favorable matchups.”
Do you think we will ever see Justin Gaethje fight Conor McGregor, or has the ship sailed?